Terry George, Rina George, Melina Esrailian and Eric Esrailian pose together as Human Rights Watch presents the Voices For Justice Annual Gala on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages)

Inaugural ‘Promise’ Award Celebrated with Emotional Tribute to Chris Cornell

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Matt Cameron, Vicky Cornell and Kim Thayil pose together as Human Rights Watch presents the Voices For Justice Annual Gala on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages) (PRNewsfoto/Human Rights Watch)

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch had their most successful fundraising dinner to date, raising more than every year prior.

The event, which took place on November 14 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, had an immense amount of celebrities and influential people in attendance including Eric Esrailian, Serj Tankian, Angela Sarafyan, Kimberly Marteau Emerson, Mike Medavoy, David Foster, Katherine McPhee, and Linda Ramone.  The night also introduced the inaugural Promise Award, followed by a special performance by Ryan Tedder and Drew Brown of OneRepublic.

Eric Esrailian and Angela Sarafyan arrive as Human Rights Watch presents the Voices For Justice Annual Gala on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
(Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages)

Inspired by the film and song that powerfully depicted the atrocities committed against the Armenian people; the award recognizes an outstanding song, television show, or film that advances the values of equity and justice in an original and powerful way. Fittingly, the inaugural honor was awarded to the late legendary singer and songwriter Chris Cornell in recognition of his song, The Promise.  The award was presented by the producers of “The Promise” Eric Esrailian, Mike Medavoy, writer/director Terry George, and singer/songwriter, human rights activist and composer Serj Tankian. Chris Cornell’s wife, Vicky Cornell, accepted the award on his behalf and was accompanied by Cornell’s bandmates, Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden.

Pioneering recording artist Chris Cornell, who died in May, wrote the title song for the film, “The Promise,” the first major film about the Armenian Genocide. The song and its video compellingly weave the Genocide with humanitarian crises of today. The song focuses on courage, perseverance, and hope. Cornell donated all proceeds from the song to benefit refugees and children, and his song continues to inspire millions as an anthem for the human rights movement.

“We are proud to name this award after The Promise, and present the inaugural award to Chris Cornell’s inspiring song,” stated Justin Connolly, Director of Human Rights Watch’s Los Angeles Committee.

Kim Thayil, Serj Tankian and Linda Ramone pose together as Human Rights Watch presents the Voices For Justice Annual Gala on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
(Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages)

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Following the award, songwriter, Grammy Award-winning record producer, and OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder honored the late Soundgarden lead by performing an acoustic version of The Promise with bandmate Drew Brown to a standing ovation.

Tedder is an in-demand hit songwriter, a Grammy-winning record producer and the charismatic lead singer, multi-instrumentalist and main writer of the Grammy-nominated band OneRepublic. Beyond the success of OneRepublic, Tedder simultaneously established himself as a musical force, writing and/or producing tracks for an impressive roster of artists including: Beyoncé, Adele, Leona Lewis, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, U2, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5 and many more of music’s biggest names.

Ryan Tedder and Drew Brown of OneRepublic perform as Human Rights Watch presents the Voices For Justice Annual Gala on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
(Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages)